Sunday 2 January 2011

Hands On Hands Off Goalkeepers

First, a very Happy New Year to everyone. And second, thank you for taking the time to read some of the posts here.

Now, onto today’s post about goalkeepers and when they are in possession of the ball.

The following incident occurred during the New Year’s Eve A-league match between Central Coast Mariners and Melbourne Victory on Friday 31 December 2010. The final score was 1—2.

In the 87th minute, the match was precariously balanced at 1—1 (although the Mariners are one man down following a send-off in the 53rd minute). Mariners goalkeeper Mathew Ryan fumbled a goal-bound shot from the Victory, and as Ryan turned around to scoop up the ball with both his hands, Victory player Grant Brebner rushed in and kicked the ball from out of his hands and into the net. It was the winning goal. Here are the two freeze frames.

[Central Coast Mariners goalkeeper Mathew Ryan has the ball between his hands]

Should the goal have been allowed? Despite the fumble, did the goalkeeper gain possession of the ball before it was kicked by an opponent?

Here’s what the Laws state:

A goalkeeper is considered to be in control of the ball:

• while the ball is between his hands or between his hand and any surface (e.g. ground, own body)

When a goalkeeper has gained possession of the ball with his hands, he cannot be challenged by an opponent.

In the match report, everyone apparently accepts that the goalkeeper made a mistake and paid for it by conceding the winning goal.

IMHO, it would not be incorrect for the referee to whistle for a foul against the Victory player for playing in a dangerous manner, and awarding a direct free kick to the defending team (because there was obviously contact between the players).

Related Post

Two-footed Challenges Are Considered Serious Foul Play

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